Thank goodness, I’ve returned to Iran in good health and safe. And I apologize to the Iranian people for the confusion and concerns.Iranian rock climber, Elnaz Rekabi at the airport in Iran. Her exact state was unknown on Tuesday, leading some to believe she was punished by the Iranian government for breaking the state-mandated dress code.
Background: Rekabi did not wear a hijab while competing in a recent competition abroad, causing many to question if her breaking the Iranian dress code for women correlated with ongoing protests in the country.
Why It Matters: Rekabi interviewed with state media and said she was “suddenly and unexpectedly called on to compete,” continuing: “I was busy … and forgot to wear my hijab, which I should have worn.” While Rekabi emphasized the incident was an accident, many view her as a symbol amidst anti-government protests. A crowd of people welcomed her at the airport and chanted: “Elnaz is a heroine.”
by Jenna Lee,